Stick with onboard sound for now. I think non-Creative cards do up to EAX 2.0, but I could be wrong. Creative may be in trouble right now cuz the customers may be filing a class-action lawsuit against them. Sit this one out.
It's hard to recommend a gpu when the games and monitor resolution are unknown. You could play tic-tac-toe & solitaire at 640x480.
If you're not playing serious games at less than 1680x1050 then you don't need that card at all. If you're just watching movies and you want TRUE HD playback, go for a G92 chip Nvidia.
If you want to stay away from CF or SLI (for the sake of a board that you might like) go for a 9800GTX/8800GTS or 3870X2 depending on what you/your parents want to spend.
Raid 0 and raptors is overkill, either one will do for fast load times. I'd recommend either a single raptor or 2 seagate barracudas (which are nearly as fast despite slower rotation speed, and quiter).
The mobo is complete overkill chipset comparison
. Just get a simple p35. If you want to crossfire or might in the future get an x38. x48 is just overpriced fail. I'd recommend the GA-p35-ds3l or ga-p35-ds3r. The latter has raid capabilities, in addition to being more durable and having better heatsinks for the chipsets, but its also $30 more. My recommendation for an x38 mobo is the ga-x38-ds4.
Cpu: Fine. I'd get the q6600 for $200 dollars from microcenter (in store only), but e8400 is fine too. Consider the xeon equivilant e3110 if you can't find the e8400 in stock anywhere. They are practically the same.
Case: Ew, its overpriced, has poor cooling, and subpar quality. If the PSU you already have is normal sized, get a thermaltake armor (small psu mounting area, great case otherwise), lian li (forget the model names here, but this company have alot of high quality cases, a bit on the pricey side, but you won't be dissappointed), cm-690, or if you are willing to wait a few days NZXT tempest.
Cooler: Yes! good cooler, get it! Be aware however its rather large and the clearance of nearby motherboard components isn't much, most likely will not be able to be mounted on the x48. (but then again, who gets such an overpriced board without watercooling?)
My recommendation for graphics is a 9800 gtx. Should your budget be higher and you want more graphics power, don't get a 9800 gx2, it's beaten by 2 8800 gts g92's in sli, which is far cheaper. (in this case you would need an nvidia chipset)
The onboard sound is fine, unless ur an audiophile or enjoy messing with sound drivers, I wouldn't recommend a sound card. Should you decide to get a sound card, read the thread in the sound cards section about creative. It will make you think twice about buying one of their cards when there are many other competitors on the market.
hey thanks all of you especially Asian PingPong..the thing is that I already have the PSU and the case...I've read Cosmos' reviews and all have praised it..
anyways apart from that I have a budget of around $5Gs to play around with (its my graduation!) so I can get quad everything ...I shall be ordering shortly, so kindly make me a list of things that would constitute a high end gaming rig...
and about the motherboard...the 790i ultra based mobos just arrived shortly...I can get one of those too...
I agree with Pong .... Raptors are ready for the rest home......only advantage they have now is in database access to lots of small files where their low access time comes into play.
RAID 0 will help ya boot time but only provides a 1.9% increase in gaming benchmarks. Meanwhile the 7200.11 and Samsung F1 are as much as 35% faster in DTR's.
Since the system will have uses other than gaming, I'll suggest a non TN type LCD panel. The Lenovo L220x is a S-PVA panels which is can stand up well to photo and graphics work where TN panels suffer.
Speakers etc.....I see you in the Logitech 5500's / G15 / G7
PSU and Casing: CM RPP 1KW, Cosmos 1000
GPU: 2x 3870X2 or 9800GX2 (depending on the mobo)
APU: Asus Xonar Dx2 (based on the reviews)
Monitor: Lenovo L220x (could use a 24" LCD actually, but no bigger than that)
HDD: 1x Raptor, 2x Samsung 1TB Sprinpoint F1
Optical Drive: Lite-On DH-20A3P-08
that leaves me with the mobo and ram and speakers..(Its 4GB RAM, either DDR2 or 3)
The GX2 is nVidias fastest card, so i doubt they will discontinue just to come out with the 9900 series. Rumors are just that, rumors. As far as a case, i own both the Lian Li P80 and also a CoolerMaster 830 Stacker. Both have excellent airflow. One 150GB Raptor X and a WD750Gb would be good for your setup. AS far as LCDs I have a 28" Hanns G HD1080P and also a HP 24" both are good monitors with no ghosting. I also use two diff keyboards and mice. As far as keyboards,Saitek Eclipse or Logitech G15. Mice, Razer Dimondback 3G or Logitech G5.